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Working with emotion: sometimes we all need a kind of Patronus

Love, not of the pain nor for that pain, but of the being who is in pain and for that being.


Emotions and emotional experience are fundamental elements of life. We live. We go through our days. We feel or we don’t feel (feeling of an absence of feeling, a flatness or a void). We feel a little or we feel a lot.

Sometimes the emotions we feel are intense. For some people, the experience of intense emotions happens often and can be a great personal challenge, feeling distressing, overwhelming, and/or hard.

Also sometimes, if not often, we have feelings about our feelings. So we have some initial feeling, perhaps sadness, anxiety, anger, or excitement and then we have emotional responses to these. When our feeling response to the initial feeling is rejecting or brings in a harsh attack toward ourselves, things can get harder.

Let’s pause and bring to mind the Harry Potter series for a moment (written by J. K. Rowling). Recall the Patronus, a charm that was conjured up to protect oneself against the Dementors (characters who had the effect of robbing a person of good feelings and of every memory of happy and positive experiences that person has ever had). When I envision the Patronus, I envision it pushing the Dementors away, pushing away an attack that drains a person of a life force and vitality.

The interesting thing is that our work with emotions can sometimes benefit from a kind of Patronus too, except not always in exactly the ways we might first expect.

Continuing with this, in coming posts, I’ll introduce a “Patronus I” and a “Patronus II”. For illustration, I’ll aim to provide some home-grown drawings in there as well!